Spending a Tuesday night at a rock concert is no easy feat when you have to be up bright and early for work the next day — something that Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl was well aware of when he teased fans at the Vivint Smart Home Arena.
But at the Foos’ last performance of the year (concluding over 50 shows promoting their ninth studio album, “Concrete and Gold”) Grohl wanted to give fans the gift of a true rock show that broke the rules.
“I got a question,” Grohl began after rounding out the fourth song of the evening, “Never Surrender.” “Do you like to rock and roll? I did not come here to [expletive] around.”
He went on to announce that the band of 22 years was indeed there to rock, and promised a show that would not end at the typical one-hour-and-45-minute run.
Foo Fighters delivered, playing a two and a half hour set followed by a four-song encore.
The arena was packed from the floor to the nosebleeds with fans of all ages. The big screen showed that though Grohl has aged since I saw him last, for him, age is only a number. He ran up and down the stage, engaged whole-heartedly with the audience and thrashed his head around as if there were no tomorrow. And as far as he was concerned, there wasn’t. The crowd couldn’t have been more pleased.
Foo Fighters played a complete set list comprising songs that represented their long career. One of the highlights of the evening is when drummer Taylor Hawkins traded his sticks for the microphone and performed Queen’s “Under Pressure” while Grohl played drums. Lead guitarist Chris Shiflett rocked a Real Salt Lake shirt, revealing that the band had played soccer on the RSL field the day before and announced that they even got to play with the team’s coach.
“Where’s my shirt?” Grohl quipped.
Grohl was ever the showman, making the audience laugh between songs and roar with excitement each time he shredded the guitar and honed his rocker screaming skills.
The takeaway was this: if you haven’t seen a Foo Fighters live show, you need to. Fan or not, it’s practically impossible to walk away feeling less than impressed.
Opening song • The band opened the night with “Run,” the second song off of Concrete and Gold.”
Highlight • There were many awesome moments in the show, but the one that I would write home about is when Grohl, who continuously asked the light designer to turn the lights on over the crowd so he could see who he was singing to, noticed a young girl wearing protective headphones who had been at the front on the floor for most of the night. He invited her and her father to the stage, where they were given chairs, water and an on-stage view of the rest of the concert. Seeing Grohl do something so kind was heartwarming.
Highlight No. 2 (because there really wasn’t a lowlight) • The band played some pretty great covers. Aside from the aforementioned Queen song, lead guitarist Shiflett performed Alice Cooper’s “Under My Wheels,” guitarist Bob Mould graced the stage to perform “Dear Rosemary” with Grohl, and the encore featured Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Breakdown” and AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock.”
Crowd favorite • This was hard to judge, considering Foo Fighters have a serious repertoire of radio-hits that they delivered throughout the night. The second song of the night, “All My Life” had some serious momentum behind it, sending fans into a frenzy. Grohl’s version of a “sensitive love song,” “Monkey Wrench,” got the crowd up and moving, and of course, there was “Everlong.”
Best quotes • In true rock ’n’ roll fashion, Grohl dropped a lot of f-bombs, and had the crowd laughing through all kinds of antics. Some memorable quotes include, “We’ve been around for 22 years and you couldn’t come to one [expletive] show” upon realizing that most of the crowd was seeing Foo Fighters for the first time. “The sing-along is my favorite part,” when encouraging audience members to sing while he watched from the stage. “Do you want us to give it to you good? Cuz we will tonight!” — and they did.
Next at Vivint Smart Home Arena • Lady Gaga, Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $46–$226; Ticketmaster
- All My Life
- Learn to Fly
- The Pretender
- The Sky is a Neighborhood
- Sunday Rain (vocals by Taylor Hawkins)
- My Hero
- These Days
- Let It Die
- Times Like These
- Under My Wheels (Alice Cooper cover)
- Under Pressure (Queen and David Bowie cover)
- Monkey Wrench
- Dear Rosemary
- Best of You
- Dirty Water*
- Breakdown (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)*
- This Is a Call*
- Let There Be Rock (AC/DC cover)*
* — encore